Where have all the crackers gone?

Recently I had occasion to be at Adass Yisrael Shule (the Charedi Shule in Melbourne) for Shabbos Davening, as we has some Simchos to attend. After Davening there is a nice Kiddush. Generally speaking, my taste buds have been infused with the cuisine from Poland, and proudly so. All I need is some Schmaltz Herring, Whisky, and crackers for Mezonos.

At Adass, I noticed for the second time, that there was no pure Mezonos except for the cakes (and no, I’ve never understood how cream cakes crept into our Kiddushim when there is Herring on offer ๐Ÿ™‚

Nobody, not even a Hungarian born on the border with Czechoslovakia would eat herring with cake. Yuck She-Be-Yuck, you’d have to agree.

Looking for Mezonos, all I could find were baskets of this

Melba Toast

Now, there is nothing wrong with the taste of Melba Toast, and it would taste good with the Herring, no doubt. As my Mazel would have it, I was also sitting over the produces of this toast, and he overheard my whinge that there was no plain Mezonos that one could use. I couldn’t see a cracker anywhere. He, and others, responded that’s it’s fine, it’s not really bread, it’s “Mezonos” bread and so on. True enough, it isn’t a fresh roll, made with juice and not water, and it’s hard to tell the difference between these and a standard roll or wrap, but at the end of the day, I argued that these were bread masquerading as bread. I was advised that the Badatz allow it, and my memory recollects that this is indeed the case. I retorted that the OU (specifically Mori V’Rabbi Rav Schachter (and Rav Belsky) had problems with this produce and believes one should make HaMotzi.) For those interested, you can see why it’s called Melba toast (an Aussie connection!) and how it’s made here. This is, if I’m not mistaken also the position of Rav Gedalya Dov Schwartz of the cRc. I asked then, why Adass had to enter into a Safek Brachos, and didn’t use a true and tried standard cracker. Okay, I didn’t insist on Eyer Kichel (they are outrageously expensive).

I have to give credit where credit is due. Soon enough, someone had Rachmonus on me and ย found a pack of crackers. This was magnanimous. My blood pressure lowered, and I enjoyed my interaction with the menagerie of different Chassidim and the non Chassidim.

PS. A pet peeve of mine is that people don’t wait for the Rabbi (Roov/Rov) to say Kiddush. This happens everywhere.ย I don’t understand why. So, you wait 5 minutes, at worst 10 minutes. This is Kavod HaTorah, especially for a clearly elderly Rov, who doesn’t exactly move in a sprightly fashion.

PPS. You will notice that Kosher Australia doesn’t take a stand on this (which I think is the right thing to do) on their airline meals and makes pareve statements in regards to this bread. Mind you, on a plane, I think one should be meikel because of Kavod Habriyos and not bother the fellow travellers.

Milchigs on Shavuos and Kiddush Wine

Most people observe a well-known minhag to eat Milchigs. Some have their cheese blintzes or cheese cakeย prior to a main meal (avoiding halachic hard cheese which would necessitateย a 6 or 5 and a bit hour wait). Others have one Milchig meal on the first day. The Minhag in my father’s house is to have only Milchigs for the entire Shavuos; others from Poland also share this Minhag. If and when I mention this to others, they look incredulous. Sometimes, they will say, “But you have to eat meat on Yom Tov” while others will say ย “ืื™ืŸ ืฉืžื—ื” ืืœื ื‘ื‘ืฉืจ ื•ื™ื™ืŸ”.

I mentioned the Minhag to Rav Schachter, and he confessed that he too had never heard of it. He did note that according to the Chafetz Chaim, though, wine was now the main ingredient for ืฉืžื—ื” and so he felt that ื™ืฉ ืขืœ ืžื™ ืœืกืžื•ืš and I was entitled to continue this practice.

The relevant sources are Pesachim ืงื™ื˜ and ย ,ื‘ื™ืื•ืจ ื”ืœื›ื”,ย ืื•”ื— ืชืงื›”ื˜ ื‘

ืชื ื™ื ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื”ื•ื“ื” ื‘ืŸ ื‘ืชื™ืจื ืื•ืžืจ: ื‘ื–ืžืŸ ืฉื‘ื™ืช ื”ืžืงื“ืฉ ืงื™ื™ื ืื™ืŸ ืฉืžื—ื” ืืœื ื‘ื‘ืฉืจ ืฉื ืืžืจ “ื•ื–ื‘ื—ืช ืฉืœืžื™ื ื•ืื›ืœืช ืฉื ื•ืฉืžื—ืช ืœืคื ื™ ื”’ ืืœื”ื™ืš”, ื•ืขื›ืฉื™ื• ืฉืื™ืŸ ื‘ื™ืช ื”ืžืงื“ืฉ ืงื™ื™ื, ืื™ืŸ ืฉืžื—ื” ืืœื ื‘ื™ื™ืŸ, ืฉื ืืžืจ ื•ื™ื™ืŸ ื™ืฉืžื— ืœื‘ื‘ ืื ื•ืฉ

ื•ื”ืื ืฉื™ื, ื‘ื–ืžืŸ ืฉื‘ื”ืž”ืง ื”ื™ื” ืงื™ื™ื ื›ืฉื”ื™ื• ืื•ื›ืœื™ืŸ ื‘ืฉืจ ื”ืฉืœืžื™ื… ื•ืขื›ืฉื™ื• ืฉืื™ืŸ ื‘ื”ืž”ืง ืงื™ื™ื ืื™ืŸ ื™ื•ืฆืื™ืŸ ื™ื“ื™
ื—ื•ื‘ืช ืฉืžื—ื” ืืœื ื‘ื™ื™ืŸ… ืื‘ืœ ื‘ืฉืจ ืื™ืŸ ื—ื•ื‘ื” ืœืื›ื•ืœ ืขื›ืฉื™ื• ื›ื™ื•ื•ืŸ ืฉืื™ืŸ ืœื ื• ื‘ืฉืจ ืฉืœืžื™ื, ื•ืž”ืž ืžืฆื•ื” ื™ืฉ ื’ื ื‘ืื›ื™ืœืช ื‘ืฉืจ ื›ื™ื•ืŸ ืฉื ืืžืจ ื‘ื• ืฉืžื—ื” [ื›ืŸ ืžืชื‘ืืจ ืžื“ื‘ืจื™ ื”ื‘”ื— ื•ืฉ”ื], ื•ื”ืžื—ื‘ืจ ืฉืœื ื”ื–ื›ื™ืจ ื‘ืฉืจ ืื–ื™ืœ ืœืฉื™ื˜ืชื™ื” ื‘ื‘”ื™ ืข”ืฉ, ื•ืœืขื ื™ืŸ ื™ื™ืŸ ืกืžืš ืขืœ ืžื” ย  ย  ืฉื”ื–ื›ื™ืจ ื‘ืก”ื ืฉืฆืจื™ืš ืœืงื‘ื•ืข ืกืขื•ื“ื” ืขืœ ื”ื™ื™ืŸ

In summary, the meat (not chicken) that is originally referred to is the meat of Korbanos. In the absence of Korbanos, men were required to institute their ืฉืžื—ื” through the consumption of wine at the meal. [Women on the other hand obtain this through a Yom Tov gift].

My reading of the above leads me to a number of conclusions.

  1. If you make Kiddush on Yom Tov with Grape Juice and consume no wine, it would seem you have not fulfilled Chazal’s happiness requirement
  2. Kiddush wine does not constitute the type of drink, in my opinion, that Chazal were referring to. The sweet thick molasses that parades as Kiddush wine may serve the purpose of Kiddush because it has a name/ืฉื of wine. However, I don’t see how anyone could consider it as an ingredient for ืฉืžื—ื”. I’d go further, if it wasn’t called “ื™ื™ืŸ” it could be cogently argued that it was not ื—ืžืจ ืžื“ื™ื ื” (a regular drink of choice in one’s locale) because nobody but nobody would casually serve this to a guest who occasioned one’s house.
    If it wasn’t for ืงื™ื“ื•ืฉ would anyone drink the stuff?
%d bloggers like this: